'Grey's Anatomy' Star Ellen Pompeo Slams NBC, Defends Gabrielle Union Amid 'America's Got Talent' Exit

Ellen Pompeo shared her support for Gabrielle Union in a lengthy Twitter thread amid her firing from America's Got Talent. Union, and fellow new Season 14 judge Julianne Hough, were not asked to return for the upcoming 15th season of the NBC reality competition series. The news led to new reports claiming Union bringing "toxic" working conditions and incidents of insensitive behavior to the attention of network executives led to her being let go from the show.

The Grey's Anatomy star took to Twitter Thursday to share a lengthy statement on the controversy, blasting the network for their decision and subtly calling out those who did not support Union.

"It's unfortunate that [NBC] the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it...has not changed their practices or culture. I support [Gabrielle Union] commitment to speaking up to injustice. It takes courage," Pompeo wrote on Twitter Thursday morning.

She added: "Workplace cultures will continue to be toxic until there is unity and solidarity among all women. If you go for self in these moments you undermine the work we are out here trying to do. Obviously this network feels like they can operate like this and it's okay."

She then motivated fans to look elsewhere for entertainment after the controversy.

"With that said GIRLS....instead of wack jugglers and messy Simon Cowell watch [Reese Witherspoon] and Jennifer Anniston in The Morning Show!! Soooo much better. Hard to believe these networks are still getting away with this. Our work continues [Gabrielle Union]," Pompeo wrote.

Reports have surfaced regarding several instances during production where Union tried to get NBC executives involved, ultimately for them to do nothing. Tensions rose to a point that fellow judge and co-host Simon Cowell reportedly sat down with Union to tell her to stop complaining to her bosses.

The drama ultimately led the producers to fire her after one season on the show. Union memorably gave her Golden Buzzer on Season 14 to Kodi Lee, a singer who ended up winning it all.

Union broke her silence on the controversy, thanking fans on Twitter for their support.

"So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever [red heart emoji]."


NBC has maintained its initial statement on the controversy, claiming Union and Hough were simply circulated out of the show to keep the judges panel fresh. Simon Cowell and comedian Howie Mandel have remained on the panel for years.